I wrote this article for the Box N Burn Academy – teaching PTs how to teach boxing click link to read it on the Box N Burn Academy blog. Box N Burn has locations in Santa Monica and Brentwood, California.
15 Tips on How Personal Trainers Can Get New Clients for FREE
As a personal trainer you need to start to think and act like a BUSINESS. You are a BRAND!
Start to build your brand authority, recognition, and reputation.
99% of PTs are not doing all of the following, so get ahead of your competition!
Follow these tips below, they are all FREE
and will cost you nothing but your time!
1. Network – obvious but often overlooked!
Definition: interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. – hand out business cards wherever you go and always have a 30 second elevator pitch.
2. Set up a FREE Google My Business listing
Google My Business is free and easy-to-use. Add your business information, include special offers, videos, images, opening hours, preferred payment methods, and other meaningful information. //www.google.com/business/
Then your business will show up in Google like big box on the right
3. Ask your clients to write a review on Google
It’s GOOGLE and it is FREE!! it’s the #1 place people search!
Give your clients these instructions for writing a Google review:
– Ask them to sign in to Gmail.
– Then go to Google Maps //www.google.com/maps
– Search for a place, person or business name
– Click Write a review
– In the window that appears, click the stars to score my business. If you want, you can also write me a short review.
4. Set Up a YELP Business Account & Ask Clients for Reviews
77% of people read online reviews before choosing a personal trainer. You should already have a Yelp Business account, if not go set one up https://biz.yelp.com/
– Do you already have reviews on Yelp, but you never set up a business account? Then make sure you Claim Your Business https://biz.yelp.com/support/claiming
– Your aim is to get positive reviews from people who write reviews often and are active in the Yelp community (so NOT your mom, granny, next door neighbor – who have never written another review!).
– The golden ticket is to get someone who has written lots and lots of reviews or even better to get a member of the Yelp Elite Squad to write a review for you. Yelp users are savvy, they can spot fake reviews a mile off, so can Yelp.
5. Set up a Facebook Business Page & Ask Clients for Reviews
If you don’t already have a Facebook Business Page set it up here – https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page
You should be asking satisfied clients to post a review.
Here is how your clients can do that:
– Click Reviews on the left side of the FB Business Page’s Timeline.
– Click the gray stars to choose a rating. You can also write a review.
– Click to select your audience.
– Click Done.
6. Manage your REPUTATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Word-of-mouth travels fast, you could lose current clients or put-off potential clients if it appears to them that you party hard and are not disciplined or serious about your business.
A potential client will check out all your social media profiles. Do not post partying pics on your brand page, why would anyone pay you top-dollar if you are giving clients the impression that you’ll be hungover on their time?
To get more clients keep your social media posts professional and fitness related!
Respond to Negative Reviews On Social Quickly and Politely
Fastest way to lose clients is having bad reviews – Always respond to negative AND positive reviews!
Per Yelp, when responding to a negative review – take a deep breath and think very carefully about what you are going to write.
Keep your message polite and simple: “thank you for your business and the feedback”. If you can be specific about the customer’s experience and any changes you may have made as a result, this could go very far in earning trust.
Keep in mind that this is a vocal customer who could well copy and paste your message all over the Internet.
Responding to reviews is a great way to learn from and build goodwill with one of your most vocal customers.
Keep these three things in mind:
1. Your reviewers are your paying customers
2. Your reviewers are human beings with (sometimes unpredictable) feelings and sensitivities
3. Your reviewers are vocal and opinionated (otherwise they would not be writing reviews!)
7. Use fitness and day of the week #s on Instagram & Twitter:
#MondayMotivation, #MotivationMonday #ManCrushMonday #MindfulMonday
#TransformationTuesday #TipTuesday –
#ThrowbackThursday #tbt #ThankfulThursday – Thank someone who’s helped your business, your customers, or tell people what you’re thankful for. Gratitude goes a long way toward building customer loyalty on social media
#FearlessFriday #FlashbackFriday #FeelGoodFriday #FoodieFriday #FitnessFriday #FridayFun #FollowFriday – Feature another local business you follow, and encouraging your audience to follow them too
#SocialSaturday – Share how you’re interacting with your community through events and promotions
#ShoutoutSaturday – Give a shout out to one of your star employees or customers
#SalesSaturday – Offer a special discount or deal for your product or services
#SaturdaySweat — Trainers share a good workout
#SundayFunday #SundayRead – Share one of your recent blog posts #StartupSunday – Show how passionate you are about your business #SpotlightSunday – Spread the love with spotlighting a loyal customer or evangelist
TOP FITNESS & BOXING HASTAGS:
#fitness #mma #muaythai #kickboxing #training #ufc #gym #workout #motivation #fight #fit #boxeo #crossfit #fighter #fitfam #martialarts #cardio #sport #bodybuilding #health #boxer #fitspo #hardwork #champion #lifestyle #FitnessMotivation #Fitspo #GetFit #GoalSetting #YouCanDoIt #FitnessGoals #TrainHard #NoExcuses #Cardio #Elliptical #FitFam #FitLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #GetStrong #GirlsWhoLift #GymLife #GymTime #NoPainNoGain #PersonalTrainer #Sweat #Weights #WeightTraining #Workout
8. Create VIDEOS and Upload them to YouTube
DO NOT ADD MUSIC to your videos, it is ok on YouTube because people expect sound, but on your website do not post a video with sound, that is the fastest way for people to leave your site and you can get into trouble with copyright infringements. Post videos social media, for Instagram video can only be from 3 seconds to 60 seconds in length.
Also don’t forget to write what the video is about in the Youtube description.
If you need help editing videos, setting up a Youtube channel and posting on YouTube etc. hire someone on Fiverr for $5+ per project
9. START BLOGGING
If you have a website start blogging on it. Writing is FREE and a very powerful marketing tactic! It helps boost your Google rankings so you get more exposure.
Blogging is the best way to build your authority and increase your Google rankings.
You probably share fitness tips and your expertise with family, friends and clients all the time, so write them down! All that free good advice you give, let it work for you!
Write a post on your blog once per week, about 300+ words each time
You need to let them know that you are an expert (authority) on personal training, nutrition coaching, boxing, weight lifting, sports nutrition, group fitness classes, or whatever it is you offer.
Clients want to hire a trainer that knows their stuff , who they feel safe with, and they feel you are worth whatever you charge. Convey that in your blog posts!
Add images and video to break up the page.
Be real and authentic
Give good tips, how tos, recipes, healthy shopping list, eating out tips, recommend local places, how to stay fit while traveling, cheat days, a day in the life, featured client, behind the scenes at a video/photo shoot, technique tips, tips on losing baby weight or beer belly, how to workout with a baby, or other good takeaways.
Write Irresistible Headlines “5 Quick Tips on How to Lose 5lb in 5 Days!”
Add numbered lists or bullet points!
When you blog, make sure to mention your service location and include local jargon and interests, and interesting local facts or places that may be helpful for your clients. This is how your business also gets found in GOOGLE!!!For instance:
If you are a personal trainer in Denver and you train skiers or mountain climbers, reference Denver and the surrounding mountain areas, include the sports event they are training for, include local restaurant or health stores where they can bulk up on carbs, supplements etc.
If you train clients on the “stairs” or the beach in Santa Monica and you recommend a local salad bar post-workout, mention all of these local places.
If you train clients in Central Park, New York, be sure to mention the location and directions to the meet up place, maybe you recommend clients eat before training session “Grab a bagel on the corner of Columbus and 5th” etc.
10. Guest Blogging
– you write on other health and fitness related websites.
You should be doing this even if you have your own website. Just be sure that you only post high-quality, original content without spammy links, because Google is cracking way down on low-quality guest blogging.
11. Invite other health and fitness people to guest blog on your website.
Why? So you have fresh content on your site and whomever wrote it will likely share it on their social media and link back to their guest article, which could bring new readers to your site.
12. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! RANK & GET FOUND LOCALLY
On your website ALWAYS use a real local address (no PO Boxes of fake addresses) and a local phone # (not 800#) and ALWAYS write it consistently everywhere online.
Don’t keep flip flopping with your name or business name! Don’t refer to yourself as yourself Chaz, Chas, Chazzie, Charles and Mr.X – stick with one name and address and write it exactly the same each time on your website, social media, business cards and everywhere!
If Google is confused by what your real business name and address is, you will not show up in Google results! Consistency is very important!
If you need help with onsite SEO so you get found on Google, Yahoo and Bing contact Michelle Farrell I can consult and make technical SEO changes for you.
How to embed a Google map or directions on your website:
– Open Google Maps –
– Make sure the map, Street View image, or directions you’d like to embed shows up on the map.
– In the top left corner, click the Menu.
– Click Share or Embed map.
– At the top of the box that appears, choose Embed map.
– Copy the embed code
– Paste the embed code into your web page
13. Cross-promote with other health related businesses.
Whom do you share customers with? Find them and figure out how you can promote one another.
If you’re a Trainer, hook up with a health store, vitamin store, sports shop, gym or anyone you can think of for client referrals.
14. Send emails to existing clients
Email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined? That’s 2.9 billion! So you should be using it to grow your customers!
How? Contact your existing clients to upsell or to help you grow your client list. You develop relationships with your client based on their habits, diets and goals; email is a great way to connect with them with personalized messages, links to relevant articles or other health related and business tips.
Email will help you stay top of mind. This means that the client you have who only comes in twice a month will still be thinking about you every week as you make it a point to send them emails that are catered to them or are helpful for everyone.
Sign up for a FREE Mail Chimp or Constant Contact to store all of your past and previous clients’ emails and to send out bulk emails with fitness and nutrition information that educates them on how to live healthier lives.
15. Start a reward program for referrals
Offer an incentive (free, buy-one-get-one, etc.) to your clients for their referrals. Give your client and the referred person something that will make both of them happy. One free personal trainer session for each is always a good idea.
Don’t just rely on word-of-mouth referrals, also give your business card with your offer printed on it AND send email to clients that can easily be shared with the friend.
It’s not free but costs are really low to get a podcast up and running – click link to read my article on how to get started.
Know when to delegate tasks to others
If you are not tech savvy and get overwhelmed, hire someone on Fiverr to set up your emails for you, make you a logo, animations, videos, flyers, business cards or whatever, prices start from $5. Don’t waste your time taking 5 hours to do a task someone else can do in 30 mins for $5.